May 11, 2006
Still Not Happy with NSA Revelations
With a little bit of sleep my head is slightly clearer considering the NSA having a record of billions of phone calls made since Sep. 11. I'm not anymore relieved. A database containing all that information without a court order is unacceptable. It's ripe for abuse. One thousand secret FBI files fell into the hands of cronies during President Clinton's term. A record of every phone call made would offer too much temptation for some overzealous or unethical flack.
James Joyner sees the program's harm as "infinitesimal while the potential gain in security is huge." True, since the Sep. 11 showed our intellegence agencies had a poor time dealing with the abundance of information at hand. Many items of interest will hide forever in that giant database. However, the idea the NSA has a record of all my phone calls is creepy.
There has to be a better, constitutional way to keep an eye out for terrorist bad guys while not subjecting everyone who picks up a telephone to surveillence. Unfortunately I don't have any alternatives. Supporters of the program will pounce on that. There are already those who show no concern for the program. Michelle Malkin has declared, the "NSA [is] doing its job!"
One other thought came to me. It hasn't gotten big yet, but encryption could become the big word now. Use VoIP so you can encrypt your phone conversations, encrypt your e-mail, encrypt your web browsing. NSA supercomputers might have ways to break it would take time and effort--unless your 24's Chloe who can crack any code in 20 minutes. Expect to see software companies tout the secrecy elements in their products.
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